My local Sainsbury has three or four shelves' worth of kinds of prepared mackerel. I had no idea. It strikes me as a more British fish, at least in this profusion of varieties, but never having been much of a fish-buyer in any other country, I am hardly one to compare. Unsmoked. Smoked. With honey. With a chile glaze. Cheaper varieties. Pricier varieties. De-boned. There were token numbers of other prepared fish products, from rollmops to sandwich-square salmon. Nothing, compared to the dominance of mackerel.
I am inexperienced in the ways of mackerel, so happy to go along with its accompanying instructions. While it grilled, I considered alternatives to peppery watercress-and-grapefruit salad. This is how I came to feast on grilled, smoked mackerel on a bed of cucumber dressed with gently fruity-sour passionfruit vinegar and a sprinkling of enlivening chile flakes.
Poor C. He had to make do with a late-night rushed pizza; not that he would have appreciated the fish anyway.